Instead, housing patterns have remained the chief determinant of school population. These patterns, driven by credit availability and real estate practices, promote re-segregation. “Housing, mortgage discrimination, and steering are rampant,” said Myron Orfield, Professor of Law and Director, Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity at the University of Minnesota Law School. He added that affordable housing development using federal low-income housing tax credits disproportionately occurs in “segregated and unstably integrated” neighborhoods, compounding the problem.
Small suburban districts are most vulnerable to re-segregation, said TC’s Amy Stuart Wells, Professor of Sociology and Education. Hyper-fragmented Nassau County, for example, spreads 200,000 students across 56 school districts. Research by Wells and TC colleague Doug Ready, Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy, shows a 10 percent increase in one district’s black and Hispanic enrollment leads to a 3 percent decrease in home values in immediately adjacent areas of neighboring districts.